Seeking auto collision compensation since 1976
Any auto collision is traumatic. However, when one of the vehicles is a large truck, the event is usually catastrophic. The weight and size of a commercial vehicle is no match for a much lighter, smaller car.
Seigel Law has helped injured clients throughout Ridgewood, Hackensack, Fair Lawn, Teaneck, Garfield, Fort Lee, Newark, Jersey City, Paterson, Elizabeth and Clifton since 1976. Our firm focuses exclusively on personal injury recovery, so we can devote all of our resources and knowledge to helping you win the compensation you deserve for your truck collision.
Special rules for truck drivers
Driving a commercial vehicle requires skill and alertness. Because of the potential adverse repercussions, drivers cannot afford to make a mistake. For this reason, federal and New Jersey laws strictly govern the operation of commercial vehicles — including tractor-trailers, delivery vans, construction equipment and passenger buses — and truck drivers must obtain a special commercial license.
In addition to the driver, trucking corporations are often found negligent in an car accident case. For example, you may have a cause of action against a driver who fled the scene of your crash — if the driver is later caught — and a valid claim against the trucking company that employed the hit-and-run driver.
Hours of service regulations
In July 2013, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) implemented new hours and rest break regulations designed to reduce the dangers posed by driver fatigue. In most cases, drivers are limited to 70 hours in a workweek and are required to rest for at least 30 minutes during an eight-hour shift. They continue to be limited to 11 hours of driving and 14 hours of work each day.
Texting and cellphone use
Distracted driving is a major cause of motor vehicle accidents involving cars, motorcycles, trucks and other automobiles. However, because of the risk of catastrophic injuries, truck drivers have a more urgent responsibility to refrain from texting and cellphone use. The FMCSA forbids the use of handheld devices and texting while operating a commercial vehicle. Texting involves manually entering text into, or reading text from, an electronic device. Cellphone use involves:
- Holding a cellphone with at least one hand to make a call
- Pressing more than a single button to dial a phone
- Maneuvering out of a seated driving position to reach for a cellphone
Driving a truck and drinking
Alcohol impairment affects a driver’s abilities, concentration and response time while behind the wheel. Whereas other motorists are considered drunk with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent, if the vehicle is categorized as commercial, the legal limit is.04 percent. Trucker drivers can be held criminally liable for a DUI and lose their commercial driver license (CDL) if convicted, in addition to civil liability.
Recover for your truck accident
Seigel Law concentrates exclusively on personal injury recovery. Call our law firm at 201.444.4000 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation with our experienced attorneys. From our office in Ridgewood, we represent injured people in the Passaic, Bergen, Essex and Hudson County regions, and throughout northern New Jersey. We visit you in your home or at the hospital if your injuries prevent you from traveling to our law office. You owe us no attorney fees unless we obtain compensation for your injuries.